People are getting sick from dirty, inefficient HVAC systems. There are steps you can take to keep this from happening.
When you think of HVAC service, you typically think of how getting regular maintenance on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is good for your home. This is true, and in addition it can even save you money in heating and cooling costs when you have an HVAC system that’s optimized for the size of your space and running efficiently. However, it’s also true that your home’s HVAC system can have a good or bad effect on your health, depending on how it is maintained. How? In this blog we’ll explore some of the ways that your health can either benefit or suffer due to your central heating and air system.
Hidden Health Hazards In Your Home
In the 1800s, people used arsenic as a green wallpaper dye, and while everyone knew that eating arsenic could make people sick, no one thought that arsenic in the wallpaper could be a problem. After all, who eats wallpaper? What they didn’t know was that the arsenic in the wallpaper was giving off trace amounts of poison that affected the air quality in the home, and that people breathing these microscopic dust particles were affected. Remember all the stories of fainting Victorian ladies? Ever wonder why people fainted so much back then? Maybe wallpaper was one of the culprits.
While our modern homes probably (hopefully!) don’t contain microscopic dust particles of arsenic, dust and poor air quality can still be a culprit today. You probably won’t be full-blown sick. You’ll just be “off.” You won’t really know why you are so prone to getting colds, sinus infections, and bronchitis. You may not even realize that your lungs are trying to combat the clogging effect of foreign particles. These negative effects can multiply if your body is already fighting against the burden of another condition or disorder, resulting in more fatigue, inflammation, and other symptoms. This is especially true in the winter, when you’re closed up indoors all the time and breathing the same air recirculated over and over again.
How Your HVAC System Plays a Part
You can think of your home’s heater almost as if it’s an awesome medication against cold. Its main job is to keep you warm, but like any medication, it has side effects. In this case, the side effect is the dust they stir up and the way that reduces the quality of the air that you breathe.
Dust accumulates in everyone’s home, and no matter how good a housekeeper you are, it’s impossible to prevent dust from entering. Dust accumulates in the ductwork or in your heating and cooling vents, and then it gets pumped back into the air of your home, where it circulates and you breathe it in. [Learn more about indoor air quality]
Not only do dirty ducts lower the quality of indoor air, they also provide a prime breeding ground for dust mites, which can increase your allergy symptoms because of the dander and waste that they shed. Furthermore, if there’s moisture in the ducts, they may also be harboring mold.
Most people don’t have “duct cleaning” on their list of everyday chores, so the dust accumulates more and more in these hard-to-reach spaces. If it has built up over years and years, you never know how many dust mites, toxins, and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are wafting around your home. Pay attention to whether children or elderly people in your home sneeze every time the heat or air conditioning kicks on. This can be a sure sign of needing to clean out and tune up your HVAC system.
A central heating unit that’s well-maintained and clean will help you to stay healthy, and our HVAC professionals can help you to do the needed maintenance to your system. We suggest once a year as a good frequency for your regular maintenance tune-up.
Practical Steps You Can Take
There’s a high cost to getting sick over a preventable issue like air quality. If it has been a while since anyone has taken a look at your HVAC system, the service call will sure beat the cost of potential doctor bills, lost days at work, or even the lack of feeling as good as you should. Well-being is a priceless thing.
1. Change the filter
One of the best, simplest, and most cost-effective steps that every homeowner can take is to replace the filter in your HVAC unit on a regular basis. A higher-quality filter will do a better job at filtering even the tiniest particles out of the air. However, once the pores on the filter are clogged, they won’t provide any more benefit to you. A clean, fresh filter not only gives you cleaner air, it also helps to improve the efficiency of your furnace, since it won’t have to work so hard to draw air through a gritty filter.
2. Schedule a tune-up
Your regular furnace and air conditioner tune-up is a great way to keep your system efficient, cost-effective, and optimized for a long, healthy life. To schedule this regular maintenance for your HVAC system, please give us a call or contact us. We can inspect and clean your system, troubleshoot any problems that are not working optimally, and either provide you with an estimate or fix them on the spot, depending on the complexity and cost.
3. Get your ducts cleaned
Getting your ducts cleaned is not nearly as exciting as other household projects, like painting a room or installing a new kitchen backsplash. After all, the results aren’t visible. However, you’ll give yourself the peace of mind that you are doing what you can to minimize any toxic load on yourself and the people in your house because of breathing poor-quality air.
Contact Us Today for HVAC Service
Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating is proud to be a local provider of HVAC service to Kankakee and the surrounding areas. Please contact us to get a quote or schedule your service. We look forward to providing you with expert HVAC service in Kankakee!